I am sorry I have not gotten to my blog for the week. I have what some might call, “writers block”. It is not that I do not know what to write about or that I do not have anything to say (I don’t think that has ever happened to me), I just do not know how to exactly say it. I hope you enjoy the Comic though :).
Of all these great Christmas stories I have seen through out my life there is one that trumps them all. It is about a Boy and a gift he gives to a King. The Little Drummer Boy has inspired me as few things have in life. It is a simple story about a Boy named Aaron, who has lost all hope for humanity. His father and mother were killed by bandits and his house was burned to the ground. Aaron was forced at a very young age to live and provide for himself. He only sees humans as selfish thieves who care nothing of others. The only friends he has are three animals he was able to save from his house, a camel, a donkey and little sheep.
Before Aaron’s Parents died, they gave him a drum. This drum became his most cherished belonging and he learned to play magnificent songs with it during his travels. Long story short, through some unfortunate events, Aaron’s small sheep gets mortally wounded in a town called Bethlehem. Distraught, Aaron thinks of three traveling Kings he had meet earlier and goes to them for help. When Aaron finds them, he sees the kings laying three great gifts inside a manger. The gifts were Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
Quickly Aaron runs up to one of the kings and pleads with him to help his friend, the sheep. The king looks at the sheep and tells the young boy that there is nothing he can do. He then tells the boy that the only one who can help his sheep is the king among kings laying in the manger. First Aaron doesn’t understand, then he realizes that the great gifts these three kings had given were for a baby laying in the manger. Aaron looked up to the king with tears in his eyes and says, “I don’t have any gifts for a king”. The king then tells Aaron, “Go and look upon the new born king”.
Then Aaron did something that we all MUST do, something that is crucial to bringing on Salvation and Revival to this world.
Aaron played his drum.
This baby king laying in the manger was indeed Jesus. After playing Aaron realized that his little sheep was completely healed. Aaron realized that his hatred toward humanity was wrong and found hope through baby Jesus.
This story has touched me in so many ways. I find myself in Aaron’s position a lot in my life. I have been given a magnificent gift to play through the love of my God. But, often I play the instrument for myself and only find hatred and contempt toward humanity. I mean, there is a lot of reasons to be mad at humanity. Society in general has bought into the lie that you can make fun of someone without hurting their feelings, most people are more interested in what the world can do for them and not what they could do for the world, and I see Christianity used more and more as an excuse to preach and not listen.
Why not just give up? Why not just use my instrument for myself? I personally have been hurt by the world, I have been tricked into thinking that people cared for me when they just wanted to take advantage and I have seen again and again Christian friends use Christianity as a excuse to ignore me. I truly feel as though most of my friends are not worthy of the gift I have been given.
But, then I begin to realize that my instrument is not for those who are worthy. For I was not worthy of the gift that God gave me, so many years ago. Gifts are given not out of judgment but out of love.
I do not give up on this world because my God has not given up on me. The instruments we have been given are meant to be played at the feet of our king. I will play my “drum” for my king. I will let my music be heard from the tops of mountains to the valleys of darkness. For God is the maker of my instrument and I have been commanded to let it be heard.
I think we as a society can find many lessons from the Animation Studio Pixar. Pixar is a studio I have looked into, with great detail, for the past few years. They are the most successful film studio of this decade. They have come out with ten movies, all of which have been hailed both critically and publicly as great successes.
Pixar has not failed. They have pushed the boundaries of film making and dared to do the unconventional, with nothing but success to show from it.
Many have asked the question, “What is the key to Pixar’s success”? The CEO’s and Producers of Hollywood have seen the vast amounts of money Pixar has brought in, through the popularity of their films, and they want a piece of the pie.
The secret however, is something that money can not buy. When Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Wall-E, was asked about the secret of Pixar Studio’s success, the answer was simple, “What is best for the film?” That is the question that Andrew says, guides the studios every move. There is one core Visionary (the director) who has an idea on a film that he wants to create, and nothing will get in the way of making that vision come to be a reality.
Unlike typical Hollywood, it is not lust for profit that guides the Pixar Studio. Nor is it popularity, safe/conventional storytelling or power from the higher ups, that directs Pixar’s path. The Pixar Studio is guided by Vision.
Pixar is successful because they are not worried about money or what critics think. They are not in the business for the popularity or even the big buck. They all want to create something great, and are willing to put the time and effort into making this Vision come to pass.
Most of the film business can not have the success Pixar has, because they are too caught up in profit and safe reliable storylines. When you put money first you are not able to take risks, you do not open yourself up to what the actual film needs. To let Vision come first you need to be willing to let go of the control.
I have seen through the years, a lot of similarities between the Church and typical Hollywood. The audience is who both Hollywood and the Church rely on for money. When you are guided by money, you tend to want to take the safe rout. A Pastor usually tries to stick to a typical yet safe message just as Hollywood tries to come out with the safe love story that will attract a broad audience. There is also a need for control.The need to have control is a typical thing you see in both Hollywood and the Church as well. This is perfectly understandable, I mean if you need to worry about, salaries, rent, and keeping an audience, you want to have a certain amount of control and know that you will survive the jump.
The problem is that the Vision sometimes asks us to jump without looking. Vision sometimes requires us to have a blind faith, and be willing to sacrifice everything to accomplish the goal.
The Pixar studio has been told many times that movies like Toy Story, Ratatouille, and Wall-E would be their undoing. Pixar dared to create unique stories and go place never gone to before, and with that came the possibility that no one would follow. But they chose to jump anyway.
They jumped because they were following something that could not be calculated, something that required dedication, the willingness to work together and follow the best ideas no matter where the source came from.
Let us learn from Pixar. Let us truly follow Vision no matter the destination or what we will have to question. The only thing that will bring on revival and freedom is a dedication to Vision that surpasses our human need to be safe and goes for the calling that God has given us.
Some people just can not get a clue. They are told and told that it won’t work and it isn’t possible but they just won’t quite.
Gandhi is a fine example of someone who does not get it. He was told and told again that peace could not win wars. He was brutally beaten several times because he was not willing to put up his hands to fight. He was taken to jail numerous times because he would not stand down for what he believed. Gandhi literally starved himself so that his people might stop fighting. Millions told him that he was trying to do the “impossible”.
A young man from Kansas named Walt Disney was just as foolish. He came to Hollywood with the idea that people would be entertained by moving drawings, in fact he wagered all of his money on the belief that an audience would be willing to watch a full length cartoon. People called the Idea “The Disney Folly”. Nobody thought that people would be emotionally moved by simple drawings.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was another person who was said to be ignorant. He told the world that blacks could work as equals with whites. People told him that he asked for the impossible and that he was blinded by a dream. Martin payed the ultimate price for his “ignorance”. On April 4th 1968 he was murdered.
What made these people sacrifice so much for things that the world thought were so obviously impossible?
A glance at these people and one might see what they are doing to be IMPOSSIBLE. But if we are willing to look deeper into the lives of people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King or Walt Disney, we begin to see something most of the world is afraid to acknowledge. We begin to see Hope.
Hope is often shunned by the world because it requires us to become active and leave our comfort zone. It requires us to be willing to fail and push through our faults. Hope is a dangerous thing because like King we can end up paying the ultimate price.
But something like hope, can make the impossible, possible.
Naive, Clueless, and ignorant people like Gandhi, King, and Disney are the people who have inspired me the most. Today they are looked up to as some of the greatest people to ever live on this earth.
Walt Disney was told that moving drawings would not entertain a audience but he still chose to make the first full length animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A movie that is now hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. Gandhi was able to lead millions to independence and drive out the English army by making his words and actions sharper than any sword or louder than any gun. Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to spark a generation into excepting equality instead of segregation and blood shed.
Hope and inspiration are dying words. Today more and more things are becoming impossible. Solving world hunger, purifying the world of sexual molestation, and stopping violence may be naive and ignorant dreams. Hundreds of millions of people would say that they are IMPOSSIBLE to resolve. And yet,… those who are willing to dream, do the impossible.
The time is now to define our dreams with actions more powerful then our definition of Impossible. What is possible has no limits when you are willing to hope and choose to act on the dream God has given you.